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Sen. Barack Obama continued accepting donations from oil company executives and employees last month even as he aired ads in which he stated he took no oil company money, his campaign finance reports show.
Obama has taken at least $263,000 from oil company executives, family members and employees since entering the presidential race last year, including $46,000 last month. At least $140,000 has come in chunks of between $1,000 and $2,300, the maximum permitted under federal law.
"Since the gas lines of the '70s, Democrats and Republicans have talked about energy independence but nothing's changed -- except now Exxon's making $40 billion a year and we're paying $3.50 for gas. I'm Barack Obama. I don't take money from oil companies or Washington lobbyists, and I won't let them block change anymore," says the spot, which aired as recently as April 8.
A 1907 federal law bars all corporations from giving money to political candidates. However, oil company employees can make donations.
As the ad aired, Obama took $12,400 from oil company executives and employees in increments of $1k or more. Altogether, people who identify themselves as working for oil and gas companies donated $46k in March.
Clinton has taken $336k from oil company executives and employees since entering the presidential race, including $27k in March. McCain took $41k last month, for a total of $445k.